The growing use of ultrasound in the urgent care setting is a hot topic, as evidenced by the success of—and attendance at—a talk on the subject during the most recent convention of the Urgent Care Association. We have engaged the speaker from that session to expound on the most relevant and accessible applications for an ultrasound in common urgent care case presentations.
Musculoskeletal disorders result in costly, disabling outcomes for Americans—causing significant economic impact (work-related injuries, early retirement, days away from work) and representing a leading cause of chronic diseases nationwide. Frequently, the initial treating facility, which determines if the injured/ill patient is capable of returning to work or needs time away from work or modified duty, is an urgent care center.
Urgent care has been heralded for its patient-friendly (many would even say consumer-friendly) approach to providing quality care. Patients respond well to it because it’s such a contrast to what they’ve become accustomed to: long waits, brusk treatment, and generally feeling like they’re being rushed through a very important and personal experience. Having seen how well the new approach works, however, more traditional healthcare facilities are now jumping on the consumerism bandwagon.
This June 2019 abstract summary includes, the illusion of multitasking, possible gamechanger for sport-related concussion recovery, what's missing in the diagnosis of nonspecific headache and back pain, and more.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services is working on a pilot program that would give ambulance operators the option—aided by incentives—to take patients with nonemergent complaints to lower-cost setting like urgent care instead of the emergency room.
Patients with recurrent symptoms should have an expanded history—including a genitourinary history in premenarchal girls.
Urgent care has benefited from (or perhaps driven) the trend of patients wanting to see a qualified provider the same day they need to, without an appointment. Going hand-in-hand with that is the need to find such a provider. Enter social media. When people post a review on Yelp! or gift an urgent care center with a “like” on its Facebook page, people notice—and may be more inclined to visit that location.
JUCM (both the journal and in this newsletter) is full of information and news about current trends in urgent care acquisitions and mergers. The Urgent Care Association’s newsletter is, too, and if you attended the recent UCA convention you heard plenty about how health systems are buying up small, and even not-so-small, urgent care operations. Some perceive that big health systems are gobbling up urgent care centers as an investment or in the spirit of, If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
The Department of Veteran Affairs has loosened its regulations about where veterans can seek care considerably in the past couple of years. In certain conditions, such as distance from or availability of care at a VA facility, they can head straight to a walk-in clinic without preauthorization. The Urgent Care Association took notice—close notice, in fact, and is urging the VA to tweak the policy.
Urgent care’s roots are in entrepreneurial physicians who felt there was a better way to practice medicine, and blazed a new path that led to the industry we see today.